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Tiznow's time

Fusaichi Pegasus and Lemon Drop Kid end their careers in the middle of the Classic pack.

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 5, 2000


LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- It all came crashing down Saturday for Fusaichi Pegasus when the "flying horse" did little flying and finished sixth in his farewell performance.

Tiznow, meanwhile, edged out Giant's Causeway to win the $4.7-million Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.

Fusaichi Pegasus, bought as a yearling for $4-million and syndicated as a 3-year-old for $60-million after winning the Kentucky Derby in May, threw the contest for Horse of the Year into confusion. So did Lemon Drop Kid, his main rival for the title and the winner of four straight graded stakes this year. Lemon Drop Kid ran fifth in the final appearance of his career.

In eight races before Saturday's Classic, Fusaichi Pegasus had won six times and was second twice. So his unkind fate at odds of 6-5 came as a shock to the crowd of 76,043.

"They had too much respect for this horse," said Kent Desormeaux, the jockey on Fusaichi Pegasus. "There was a lot of bouncing around out there, people pushing us around. Big, strapping colts were laying all over us. He wanted to go on with it, but I said, "No, no, not yet.'

"Halfway down the backstretch, he fell off the bridle. The pace wasn't strong enough and, when he did get clear, he had too much to do."

Chris McCarron, Tiznow's rider, put it bluntly: "This horse will run all day."

Tiznow, a 3-year-old colt sired by Cee's Tizzy, is owned by Cecilia Straub-Rubens of California. Her family trust also produced Budroyale, second-place finisher in last year's Classic. It paid a supplemental fee of $360,000 to enter Tiznow because he had not been registered with the Breeders' Cup at birth, but the gamble was worth almost $2.5-million.

Tiznow ran the 11/4 mile in 2:00 3/5 and returned $20.40 to win as the second choice behind Pegasus. Captain Steve closed fast to finish third, and Albert the Great was fourth. Tiznow became the first California-bred to win any Breeders' Cup race and the second 3-year-old in a row to win the Classic (Cat Thief won last year).

It was Tiznow's fifth victory after not racing as a 2-year-old and missing the Triple Crown in the spring. He finished sixth in an inauspicious debut at Santa Anita but ran first in four of his next seven starts and second in the three others. He gained attention when he ran second in the Swaps and the Pacific Classic last summer, won the Super Derby in Louisiana and won the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita.

But he was mostly overlooked in favor of Fusaichi Pegasus and Lemon Drop Kid until this 17th Breeders' Cup, eight races with international flavor and purses totaling $15-million.

Tiznow ran first or second the entire way in a duel with Nick Zito's Albert the Great. And as they turned for home, Tiznow led by a head. They flew to the wire until the final yards, when Albert the Great faded and Giant's Causeway moved from third place to second in the 13-horse field. Lemon Drop Kid outran sixth-place finisher Fusaichi Pegasus by 2 1/2 lengths.

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